Kenworth

Stevens Transport Driver Gregg Softy Announced Winner of 2017 Transition Trucking Award

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FASTPORT, in partnership with Kenworth and the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes Program today announced Stevens Transport truck driver and U.S. Army Veteran Gregg Softy as the winner of the 2017 Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence award. Softy received a new T680 truck, donated by Kenworth. 

Softy, a native of Athens, Alabama, is a retired Lieutenant Colonel with more than 28 years of active duty service in the United States Army. Softy was nominated for the award by his current employer, Stevens Transport.

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“Following a distinguished military career, Gregg leveraged his skills to successfully launch a second career in the trucking industry,” said Eric Eversole, president of Hiring Our Heroes and vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “We are honored to play a role in helping Gregg find a meaningful employment opportunity, and congratulate him for winning this year's award.”


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"Congratulations to Gregg Softy for his selection as the winner of the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award," said Kurt Swihart, marketing director of Kenworth. "We are honored with this opportunity to thank him for his years of service as a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army and his dedication to become an inspiration to other professional drivers in our industry. We are confident that the Kenworth T680 Advantage will help him get on the right road to continue his promising career in trucking."


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"The successes displayed by each Transition Trucking finalist in the trucking industry can be tied some way back to their military training. This gives us even more evidence that the military hardwires our veterans to excel in trucking, and industry-leading companies are uniting to attract and employ these remarkable candidates," said Brad Bentley, president of FASTPORT. "A special congratulations to Gregg as well as Wayne and Daniel who have set incredible examples of what veterans can accomplish after they transition from the military into civilian careers."

The three finalists considered for the Transition Trucking award were:

  • Gregg Softy, U.S. Army veteran, Stevens Transport 
  • Wayne Roy, U.S. Marine Corps veteran, U.S. Xpress 
  • Daniel Shonebarger, U.S. Navy veteran, Melton Truck Lines 
Finalists left to right: Wayne Roy, US Xpress; Gregg Softy, Stevens Transport; Daniel Shonebarger, Melton Truck Lines 

Finalists left to right: Wayne Roy, US Xpress; Gregg Softy, Stevens Transport; Daniel Shonebarger, Melton Truck Lines 

First launched in 2016, the annual Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence campaign is focused on curbing the emerging truck driver shortage and inspiring more companies to hire more veterans, National Guard members, and reservists into the trucking industry. Throughout the year, trucking companies nominate veteran military drivers with outstanding performance. Following a public vote on nominees, an independent selection committee comprised of individuals from the trucking industry select three award finalists. Click here for more information or to nominate a veteran for the 2018 award.

Top 10 Finalists Named for Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence 2017 Award

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The "Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence" campaign, first launched in the spring of 2016, is part of an overall effort to inspire the hiring of more veterans, national guard members, and reservists into the trucking industry. As the main part of the initiative, deserving veteran drivers who have made a successful transition from military service to the trucking industry were nominated by their carriers for the chance to win a fully-loaded Kenworth T680 truck to accelerate their newfound careers.

Since nominations closed on June 30th for this year’s hopefuls, the exceptional pool of candidates has been narrowed to the elite Top 10.

The Top 10 finalists include (listed in alphabetical order of last name):

  1. Mary and Larry Berman (Mary, US Army National Guard and Reserves; Larry, US Coast Guard and Army). Carrier: U.S. Xpress
  2. Phillip Cooper (US Navy). Carrier: Melton Truck Lines
  3. Sean Harding (US Army). Carrier: Stevens Transport
  4. Christopher King (US Air Force). Carrier: TMC Transportation
  5. Britney Motes (US Army). Carrier: Werner Enterprises
  6. James Rogers (US Army). Carrier: Prime, Inc.
  7. Wayne Roy (US Marine Corps). Carrier: U.S. Xpress
  8. Daniel Shonebarger (US Navy). Carrier: Melton Truck Lines
  9. Gregg Softy (US Army). Carrier: Stevens Transport
  10. Robert West (US Air Force). Carrier: Werner Enterprises

“Each of these candidates is an incredible ambassador to display what military talent brings to the trucking industry,” said FASTPORT President Brad Bentley. “We’re proud to say that all five United States military branches are represented in this diverse and qualified group, which is simply another proof point that the military, regardless of military occupation or branch, provides a unique and significant foundation for a professional truck driving career.”

The Top 10 Finalists will be recognized at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, TX on August 25, 2016 during the U.S. Department of Labor’s Transportation & Logistics Sector of Excellence in Apprenticeships (SEA) Conference and ApprenticeshipUSA Accelerator. To register to attend this event, please use the following link: http://info.fastport.com/gats-dol-registration.

The previous evening, these new drivers will also be recognized at the President George W. Bush Library during a tour and reception where last year’s winner and Navy veteran, Mr. Troy Davidson, will attend and discuss how his military experience enabled him to become named the best new driver in America and how the Transition Trucking award has impacted his life. B.J. Ganem, Wounded Warrior, will also be a guest speaker. To RSVP for the Transition Trucking Reception, email paige.thompson@fastport.com.

For more information on the Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award, please visit transitiontrucking.org.

The Search Is on for the 2017 Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award Winner

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U.S. Navy veteran Troy Davidson, now a driver trainer for Werner Enterprises, is the winner of the 2016 “Transition Trucking: Driving For Excellence” award, and Kenworth, FASTPORT, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes program are now searching for the next Veteran who will follow in his footsteps.

The “Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence” campaign, launched in the spring of 2016, is part of an overall effort to inspire the hiring of more veterans, national guard members, and reservists into the trucking industry. As the main part of the campaign, deserving veteran drivers who had made a successful transition from military service to the trucking industry were able to participate in a chance to win the truck.

While the 2017 nomination period begins on March 23, we encourage you to be on the lookout for which deserving veterans you would like to nominate from your company now.

After the Top 10 award finalists were recognized at the Great American Trucking Show, Troy along with runners-up Russell Hardy and Kevin Scott went through a voting process where America selected their favorite driver.

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Each Transition Trucking finalist displayed exceptional success in the trucking industry and tied that achievement in some way back to their military training and displayed incredible examples of what veterans can accomplish after they transition from the military into civilian careers.

Reflecting on his career as a professional driver, said Russell, “I have been drawn to wheels that turn since childhood. I grew up in the day when a boy’s most treasured possessions almost always included a prized collection of Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars...Now as a professional driver, I can support my family with those wheels. Because trucking is a career that I enjoy, I tend to be less stressed and more energized...The time I spend out on the road, I spend listening to a wide variety of audio books. My truck cab, therefore, is like a wondrous classroom. This education and higher learning is uplifting and instills confidence in me.”

Kevin agreed that his trucking career instills that same confidence: “Choosing this career has given me a sense of pride. Each week, every load is like a deployment. You go for a week and do your job at hand, and then home time is for demobilization. I enjoy the fact that when I am at work, I am truly at work, but my home time is solely devoted to my family. Our goal at my company is “Destination: Excellence” and that goal goes hand-in-hand with the personal goals I have set for myself, from my military career to my personal life.”

"This is a life changing event,” Troy said as he took the keys to his new Kenworth T680 at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where the announcement took place. “I'm not going to let anybody down. It's very humbling, and I am honored to be here today to accept the keys of that pretty truck out there."

The Transition Trucking: Driving for Excellence Award is currently seeking sponsors to ensure we can continue improving the lives of incredible Veterans like Troy, Russell and Kevin. For more information on this opportunity, please watch the video below.

Top 10 Finalists Named for First Annual Transition Trucking: Driving For Excellence Award

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In an effort to curb the driver shortage and create immediate jobs for transitioning military personnel, the U.S Chamber of Commerce Foundation's Hiring Our Heroes Program (HOH), Kenworth, and FASTPORT have come together to award a fully-loaded T680 to a deserving veteran who enters the trucking industry.

Since  nominations closed on June 30th, the exceptional pool of candidates has been narrowed to the elite Top 10. 

The 10 finalists include:

  • Robyn Hyde, MSR Transport (Central Tech Truck Driver Training) — U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve
  • Russell Hardy, Trimac Transportation (International Schools) — U.S. Navy and U.S. Army
  • Edward Cavanagh, Stevens Transport (Ft Hood-Stevens Training Academy, Central Texas College) — U.S. Army and U.S. Army National Guard
  • Steven Cassaday, Averitt (Miller-Motte Technical College) — U.S Coast Guard
  • Christopher Phillip Fox, EPES Transport System (Johnson Community College) — U.S. Army
  • Jonathan Perez, TMC Transportation (National Tractor Trailer School) — U.S. Air Force
  • Kevin Scott, TMC Transportation (Truck Drivers Institute) — U.S. Army
  • Eli Tollinchi, Werner Enterprises (Roadmaster Driving School) — U.S. Coast Guard
  • Troy Davidson, Werner Enterprises (Truck Driver Institute) — U.S. Navy
  • Brandon Douglas, Melton Truck Lines (American Truck Training) — U.S. Marine Corps

"Our selection committee was continually impressed with each nomination submitted to the Transition Trucking Award, and narrowing to the Top 10 was no easy task,” said FASTPORT President Brad Bentley. “Each of these finalists have shown exceptional success in the trucking industry and has tied that success in some way back to their military training. It is even more evidence that the military hard-wires our veterans to succeed in trucking that each of the five United States military branches are represented in the Top 10 finalists.”

The Top 10 Finalists will be recognized at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas, TX on August 26, 2016 where the Final 3 will be announced. In addition to receiving prize packs, the remaining contestants will be interviewed by Hiring America and create a video profile, which will be posted on Hiring America’s website where the general public can vote for their favorite finalist.

For more information, please visit transitiontrucking.org.